12 sophisticated soft drinks to try this year

Real Kombucha

With fermenting set to be one of the key trends in both food and drink this year, it’s time to get acquainted with kombucha – a fizzy fermented tea that’s already proving popular with the cool kids in Scandinavia.

Thought to have originated in Northeastern China, the sour sparkling drink, which is said to aid digestion, has become a huge hit among abstemious millennials, many of whom are experimenting with their own home brews.

One of the brands to have emerged as a leader in the field is Real Kombucha, founded by entrepreneur David Begg. Moving from a nano brewery in Begg’s garage to a full-scale operation in the Chiltern Hills, in just over a year since it launched in 2017, Real Kombucha has won listings at over 40 Michelin-starred restaurants including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume.

Aiming to be a serious alternative to alcohol for those not drinking, the brand comes in three different styles: the “light and fruity” Dry Dragon, the “fresh and fragrant” Royal Flush, made with the queen of teas – Darjeeling, and Smoke House, which boasts notes of apple and caramel. Each bottle contains just 50 calories. RRP: £2.45 / 33cl at The Whisky Exchange.

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